UNESCO Warns AI Could Fuel Anti-Semitism

Artificial intelligence technology poses a risk of promoting Holocaust denial, according to a new study.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology could lead to a surge in false narratives about World War II atrocities, including Holocaust denial, UNESCO, the UN education and culture body, has warned.

According to a study published in partnership with the World Jewish Congress on Tuesday, the creation of false content, such as deep fakes and misinformation, could compromise the authenticity of historical evidence and spread anti-Semitic ideologies.

The study highlighted the widespread use of AI for assistance in education, research, and writing, which it argued could increase the likelihood of encountering unreliable data.

Deep-fake images and audio content generated using Generative AI are particularly convincing for young people, who may encounter them on social media platforms, the report cautioned.

With four out of five young people between the ages of 10 and 24 now using AI several times a day for education, entertainment, and other purposes, according to UN research, “action to ethically guide these new technologies must be taken quickly,” the report warns.

The report used the Historical Figures App as an example. The interface reportedly allowed users to chat with prominent Nazis such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, and falsely claimed that individuals such as Goebbels were not intentionally involved in the Holocaust and had tried to prevent violence against Jews.

The report also stated that ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have both produced content detailing Holocaust-related events that never took place.

“If we allow the horrific facts of the Holocaust to be diluted, distorted or falsified through the irresponsible use of AI, we risk the explosive spread of anti-Semitism…” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

UNESCO has called on governments to accelerate the implementation of the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, which was unanimously adopted by its member states in 2021.

The UN agency has also urged tech companies to establish ethical rules for the development and use of AI in an effort to reduce the chances of unreliable information being generated and to prevent bad actors from spreading misinformation.